Originally Posted by Crane's
And for all those that think it ends once you recommend someone you are dead wrong. All I can say is go around the block a few times and you'll know what I mean.
It depends on the industry and the types of companies/jobs being applied for. If it's a large industry that someone is applying for a low to mid level position, it has little chance of coming back to bite you. Most likely the referral will be given to an HR person at some point and be forgotten in short order.
If it's a smaller industry or a more senior level position, you are right, it could come back and bite you.
I still think the answer is you speak well of them to what there is well to speak of. There has to be a few good qualities to this person or they wouldn't be your friend in the first place. If you are keeping friends with no good qualities, then maybe you need to take a step back and question why.